Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Cor. 12:9 NLT
Heavenly Father, thank you for promising to give us all the grace we need, no matter the circumstance, crisis, or crucible. You gave Paul “sufficient grace” for his “thorn in the flesh”—though he really wanted you to remove his thorn. Thank you for his model of honesty in struggle, boldness in prayer, and submission to your heart, hand, and timetable. Help us, as well, also believe you are doing all things well, even when you don’t do all things easy.
For our “thorns in the flesh”: Grant us grace to accept the inconvenient, limiting, painful things going on in our bodies. Until you give us our resurrection bodies, keep our hearts renewed in the gospel, as our “outer man” wears out. Free us to boast in, rather than simply bemoan our weaknesses. Make Jesus more near and dear to us. Increase our mercy for fellow sufferers.
For our “burrs in the saddle”: Father, some of us are dealing with irritating people and aggravating circumstances. Whether on the job, or in our homes, if you’re not going to change the situations, then change us. Give us bigger hearts and thicker skins, wisdom from above and grace on the ground.
For our “punches in the gut”: Some of us are reeling from fresh disappointments, betrayals, or losses. Thank you for being a Father of compassion and God of all comfort. Father, help us catch our breath, gain perspective, and experience your calming, centering presence.
For our “arrows to the heart”: Nothing hurts as much as relational pain. Father, grant us the grace we need to love well in messy, complex situations. Keep us from repaying hurt for hurt. May faith, not fear; kindness, not spite mark us as we move forward. You gave Jesus to us and for us. Certainly, we can trust you for everything else we really need. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.